My Cardiff Met Award Journey - Orla Hennessy

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Deciding to do the Cardiff Met Award in my second year was stepping out of my comfort zone. I was unsure as to whether I would complete the one hundred hours of work experience. I didn’t have a job, and the only role within university I held was a course rep, so how would I do it? However, in March 2021 with three months left of my third and final year I have completed the Cardiff Met Award.


I will admit that it was a challenge to find work experience, even before the pandemic, to find something that would fit around my studies but also something that I would be interested in. Thankfully, I knew someone who volunteered at Bristol Zoo, one of my favourite places in my home city, and so for a week I was able to work there in Santa’s Grotto. Keeping an eye out for opportunities like this, big and small proved so helpful in gaining the hours of work experience needed, as well as life experience through all the different people I met along the way. 


As the pandemic became ongoing, continuing the award was a daunting process as it was harder to find jobs, and the worry that I wouldn’t complete the hours increased but I was able to do this by signing up to be a Cardiff Met Student Ambassador. This is a role I’d highly recommend as it not only helps you engage with the university community, but it also gains valuable experience, whilst being paid! Through the online delivery of uni, I have been able to carry out many of my hours as a Student Ambassador. Being a course rep in my second and third year has also been a key opportunity, one I would recommend to anyone who is willing to help represent those on their course to higher groups within the university, as you can help to make a great difference, and gain those hours too!


The workshops that are provided for the Met Award are so beneficial to university life as well as to the Award journey, and it was important for me to choose workshops that would benefit me personally too. My favourite one was the Presenting with Confidence workshop with Sally Strong as it allowed me to gain the confidence in presenting that as a third year student, I desperately needed the practice and to pick up some tricks. The sessions are calm, and well-structured allowing the few hours spent there to feel refreshing and not challenge at all.


Completing the Cardiff Met Award, especially within the current global situation, is an achievement to be proud of and I am so happy that I decided to join. It truly has been a highlight to my university life at Cardiff Met and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something else to do at uni alongside their studies!




To find out more information on the Met Award, visit the webpage


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